The North Burnett's newest local treasure opens its doors

Clare Adcock
By Clare Adcock
Updated March 6 2022 - 8:58pm, first published 5:00am
Helen Webb in front of her new store at Monto. Photo: Supplied

From jewellery and handbags, to spur straps and hats, Monto's newest boutique is a haven for lovers of country fashion.

Forever Country Trading Co. opened its doors to the public last week, with owner and founder Helen Webb saying that she was very excited about the chance to sell her handmade items from the new store.

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"I must say, last Tuesday when I opened the shop it was one of those moments where I stopped and thought, wow, I'm actually here," she said.

"It makes you stop to pinch yourself and think, it's come from basically making things in my office to actually having my own retail space, so it is pretty cool."

Last week's store opening was somewhat of snap decision, with Ms Webb deciding the day before that the opening date would make for a quirky story as it aligns with the stores street number.

"I was actually sitting and doing some book work on the Monday morning and thinking that my shop is at 22 Newton Street in Monto, and tomorrow's date is the 22 of the 2nd 2022, that would be pretty cool," she said.

"I made the quick decision to get the rest of the floor laid out and all of my stock on the floor so I could open on that date."

Ms Webb began making leather and hide products in 2017 after attending a weekend leather working course, saying she had been interested in leather work since a young age.

"Doing the course really wet my appetite and I thought right, now I could really do something with this," she said.

"From there it's been a lot of self-teaching and trial and error. It does come as a bit of an extension from things around me and just our country lifestyle as well.

"There's a whole array of leather and hide pieces: leather belts, leather bags, and I've branched out into earrings and cuffs, as well as spur straps and guitar straps, wallets and diary covers."

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Over the last year, Ms Webb has started creating a linen range to accompany the leather products.

"It's about designing and creating practical pieces for women as either everyday wear or things that they can wear for more formal occasions, but they're all classic and timeless," she said.

"It's all based around the practicality of the country way of life."

One of the unique aspects of Ms Webb's business is that her products are all locally-made.

"Everything is completely created and finished here in the North Burnett," she said.

"Because it is local, people can come and speak to me to customise pieces, whether it's sizing or colours, or particularly with the leather pieces, if they're wanting an initial or a cattle brand put on anything, we can have those one-on-one conversations and create something that is unique to them."

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Anyone not in the North Burnett area needn't worry about missing out, as Ms Webb said she will continue to travel to events with her pop-up shops, as well as further developing her website for online purchases.

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Clare Adcock

Clare Adcock

Roma Journalist - Queensland Country Life

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